Rosewood Lane (2011)
(15) Running time: 97 minutes
Director: Victor Salva
Writer: Victor Salva
Starring: Rose McGowan, Ray Wise, Lauren Velez, Sonny Marinelli
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
After seeing the trailer many months ago for Victor Salva’s latest ‘horror’, Rosewood Lane, I can’t say I was overly excited to see it. Yet, I was hoping that my lack of interest might end up benefitting me, and allowing me to enjoy this film as it takes me by surprise. It is directed by Victor Salva, the man behind Jeepers Creepers 1, 2 and the upcoming third film, and also director of the quite brilliant Powder, so I was praying for something fairly decent. It stars the gorgeous Rose McGowan and the always brilliant Ray Wise, so surely it can’t be quite as bad as expected can it? Unfortunately yes, yes it can be that bad, and Rosewood Lane drags on and on and rarely does anything worthy of remembering.
McGowan plays radio therapist Sonny Blake: she listens to people’s problems during the night and offers solutions or comfort. She has had a rough life herself: an abusive, drunken Father did not exactly give her a happy childhood, and even when the poor bastard dies in his suburban home, she then makes the mistake of moving into his house a year later, and these events will make her life even worse. See, Sonny and her boyfriend Barrett Tanner (Marinelli) have tried and failed to sell the house, so decide to move in. Their neighbour explains how Sonny’s Father never mentioned having a daughter (we are supposed to find this upsetting see), and he also hints that her Father may not have fallen down the stairs by himself, and that he was pushed. By who, I hear you ask! Well, by the local paperboy of course!
The local paperboy, oh my, what will they think of next. Yes, it would seem the paperboy might actually be some sort of demon, and takes an instant dislike to Sonny. You know this by how he stops in the road, on his cycle, and stares at her, even though a large truck has to also stop and beep for him to get out the way. The scene is supposed to be chilling, but I just found it annoying and wondered why the truck driver didn’t get out and give the little blighter a slap. Things become more ‘intense’ as someone has mysteriously re-arranged Sonny’s jewellery, she has the feeling of being watched, and it might be possible someone is planning to push both Sonny and her boyfriend down the stairs! The police don’t want to know, and try to make out Sonny is crazy, and her friends don’t exactly help, until whoever the stalker is pisses on one of them as he spies through a whole in Sonny’s fence. That scene was one of the highlights as Sonny’s friend is trying to see who is creeping around the outside of the fence, piss goes in his eye and he falls back into Sonny’s being built pool and nearly causes himself an injury!
Sadly, there are not many other highlights, and it felt that Salva just wasn’t able to hold the story together as a building, suspense filled chiller. There is very little violence, no suspense and very little actual scares. The plot itself should have worked, but there was so much missing from this empty shell of a movie that you won’t care much at all about what happens. Everything just continues to build to nothing, and the pace is far too slow and Salva just can’t hold the story together here. Maybe it was budget restraints, but something went wrong, and Rosewood Lane falls flat on its face.
Rose McGowan convinces, but is not a strong enough actress to hold a film by herself. However, she almost nails it with a modest performance, and she is always pleasing on the eye. Ray Wise, as ever, is the best thing here, and even though he is playing the annoying cop who doesn’t believe anything, he gives that clichéd character a real injection of fun and brilliance. Wise can put his name to anything and make it enjoyable. Sadly, even he can’t save this dull, boring film from the bowels of the earth, somewhere it should have stayed.
(Follow me on Twitter)